The Artist: Steve Tenebrini aka TΞNΞBRINI
Habits are hard to break, and just as hard to form. Have you ever successfully tried doing something every day for an entire year? I’m not talking about some New Year's resolution to stop eating pizza (you monster!) I’m talking about an actual daily habit. Yeah, me neither. But let me tell you about Steve Tenebrini aka TΞNΞBRINI.
TΞNΞBRINI decided to draw a skull every day for 365 days. And give that skull a quote about Death. And mint that skull. And then do it all over again … the very next day. This wasn’t a personal challenge that he could let slip when no else was watching. This was the DeathWish 365 project where holders watched wallets and counted the minutes to midnight waiting for the daily skull to drop and the bids to start flying. And you know what? He freaking did it! 365 DeathWish skulls minted to the blockchain in 2022. But why skulls?
DW365-334 by TΞNΞBRINI.
“I think that, with age, people come to realize that death is inevitable. And we need to learn to face it with serenity, wisdom and resignation. Death often frees us from a lot of senseless sufferings.” ― Paulo Coelho
After years providing screen printed gig posters for notable rock bands, TΞNΞBRINI began experimenting with a skull-like visage he created in 2007 for a HELMET concert. The skull would become one of his best-selling images, being applied to stickers, skateboards, and sketchbooks over the years. After being introduced to the world of NFTs, TΞNΞBRINI returned to the skull to create a limited edition genesis piece on Tezos. When his time came to approach Ethereum towards the end of 2021, the idea – the compulsion – to draw a unique skull everyday possessed him. DeathWish 365 was born.
But TΞNΞBRINI did not just draw the skulls. Each skull comes with a quote about Death. From Mark Twain to Stanley Kubrick to Jerry Garcia, each DeathWish mint bears a famous DeathQuote. Death was on his brain every single day. No wonder I love his art! And the fun didn’t stop there. Numerous artists came to the DeathWish 365 project to create their own skull collabs, many of them accepting the challenge to also draw their skull in a day.
DW365-182 by TΞNΞBRINI.
“Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
It’s February 2023, so he must be done icing his hand by now, right? Nope. The madman known as TΞNΞBRINI never stopped drawing every damn day. Now, every day on his Twitter account, he posts a new drawing. He’s not limiting himself to skulls or any other type of art. And he’s only minting some of them as part of the TΞNΞBRINI 365 project.
“Metaphorically, I feel like a musician who just spent a year recording an album and now I'm back in the studio exploring, looking for fresh ideas again. I don't have any specific plans for new collections or projects other than to keep drawing something every day and mint selected works as I see fit.” - TΞNΞBRINI
But the DeathFam remains his priority for the foreseeable future. He will launch DeathWish Trading Cards this year, each depicting one of the 365 skulls from the DeathWish 365 collection. “If the 365 skulls is the album, the forthcoming DeathWish Trading Cards is the world tour to promote the album,” he explains. “There’s still a lot of DeathWish in the future. Still a lot of work to do so, I'm not trying to pile on more beyond my natural day-to-day compulsion to draw shit.”
Oh yeah. He loves pizza, too. Just ask him.
The ArtDrop: Deliverance
Deliverance explores the inevitability of death and the otherworldly nature of the afterlife. At the center stands a being, their dark clothing matching the artwork’s often sobering theme. The being’s skull stares out with a sense of eerie anxiety, as if it knows this journey is Inevitable – even necessary – but it still holds onto the fear of dying. Two other skulls peer out from behind the figure (or are they also part of this being?), standing guard, ready to escort the being into the afterlife.
The being is surrounded by ethereal flames of oranges, purples and aquas, adding to the otherworldly atmosphere. As I stare at the flames, they seem to flicker and dance, as if they are alive and have a will of their own. They add a sense of motion and drama, signaling that the moment of deliverance is imminent.
Deliverance is a haunting and powerful piece of digital art that explores the inevitability of death and the strange, surreal nature of the afterlife. It is a testament to TΞNΞBRINI’s skill as an artist and his ability to create complex, thought-provoking imagery with a few strokes.